Friday, March 13, 2009

Eating More Fruits and Vegetables Brings down Diabetes Risk

(NaturalNews) Poor lifestyle and dietary habits are, without doubt, a major cause of the escalating rates of diabetes in developed nations. A recent study conducted at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health has provided further proof to this assertion, having revealed that one's risk of type 2 diabetes may be reduced by consuming more whole fruits and green leafy vegetables on a daily basis.

Details and Findings of Study

The study team had looked at data from the Nurses' Health Study, which ran for 18 years from 1984 to 2002. In total, diet and health information of 71,346 women aged 38 to 63 years were looked at; the nurses had filled in food frequency questionnaires once every 4 years. All of the ladies did not have diabetes at the start of the study, and, according to self-reported information, about 7.4% of them developed the condition during the study period. The subjects of the study, which was published in Diabetes Care, were also free of cancer and cardiovascular disease at its commencement.

The researchers discovered that eating three more servings of whole fruits each day was associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes. Just eating one more serving of green leafy vegetables was also linked to lower diabetes risk. Such correlations existed even after factors such as family history, smoking and weight were taken into account.

Fruit juice, however, did not fare so well. "Based on the results of our study, people who have risk factors for diabetes may find it helpful to fill up on leafy greens like lettuces, kale and spinach and whole fruits, like apples, bananas, oranges and watermelon rather than drink fruit juices, which deliver a big sugar load in a liquid form that gets absorbed rapidly," said Lydia Bazzano, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Tulane.

Other Helpful Dietary Changes

On top of the consumption of whole fruits and green leafy vegetables in helping to ward off diabetes, the researchers also recommended using these healthy foods to replace refined grains and white potatoes, foods which have been linked to heightened diabetes risk.

For keeping diabetes at bay, a vegetarian diet would probably also help, with a low incidence of type 2 diabetes having been found in followers of such a diet. In one particular study, persons who suffered from nerve damage arising from diabetes took on a vegan diet and reported feeling better after a matter of days.

One big problem with modern day diets is an over-supply of meat and other animal food products, which are linked to increased risks for many serious diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Thus, even if you do not go vegetarian, it would be a good idea to watch and reduce your intake of such foods.

As for fresh fruits and vegetables, scientific evidence of their health benefits continue to mount, and any health-conscious person would definitely ensure he or she consumes good amounts of such foods.

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